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BLAST Premier donates $5K to gaming and mental health charity Safe In Our World

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Esports tournament organiser BLAST Premier has donated $5000 to Safe In Our World – a video game charity that supports players, teams and organisations in the industry struggling with mental health issues.

The donation will go towards helping the charity continue to deliver some of its impressive work in the field of mental and physical wellbeing for the betterment of the wider gaming and esports industries. 

Professional esports athletes and gamers struggling with mental health issues and burnout has become a common theme over the last few years, with the pressure put on elite esports stars ever increasing and players’ schedules becoming more demanding than ever. 

Safe In Our World was founded in 2019, with a mission to foster positive mental health wellbeing and deliver support not only for players but also developers, publishers, retailers and the other people and teams who drive the video games industry forward.  

Some of the impressive work the charity has undertaken to date includes launching a Level Up Mental Health Programme that empowers companies to priorities its employees mental health, creating a Safer Together Discord channel that offers a safe space to interact with fellow gamers and introducing a Community Manager Mental Health Course, which is free for community managers and public-facing roles within the industry.

The global Counter-Strike tournament organiser set aside fines that were accumulated and deducted from teams during the 2021 Spring Season (February-June) and donated them to a charity of choice. 

Emily Medd, Director of Digital at BLAST, said: “Never has it been so important to protect and educate esports stars and gamers on the significance of physical and mental wellbeing both on and off the server. Safe In Our World are doing brilliant work in this area, helping gamers understand and talk about their mental health freely – we’re delighted to be able to make a contribution to their outstanding work.”

Rosie Taylor, Charity Officer for Safe In Our World, said: “We’re delighted to have BLAST’s support to continue to eliminate the stigma around mental health in games. It’s paramount to have resources available to every player and every employee in the industry, so that everybody feels safe to reach out and learn more about mental health; not only to support themselves but each other as well.”

The charity’s burning ambition is to grow into a default destination for gamers and developers grappling with mental health issues to ask for help, access information, and read about real people in the gaming space who have had their own struggles — and how they have dealt with them. 

BLAST Premier is a worldwide Counter-Strike tournament series that unites all major events, offers opportunities to all regions across the globe and crowns the world champions of CS:GO. Up to 32 teams will take part in the seven BLAST Premier events over the course of 2021 with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line. 

eSports

Veloce joins forces with Codemasters to launch ground-breaking VERSUS ULTRA Series

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Veloce joins forces with Codemasters to launch ground-breaking VERSUS ULTRA Series
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  • Innovative esports series, to feature competitions across multiple leading titles from Codemasters, looks set to kick off in 2022
  • Lando Norris’ Quadrant is the first team confirmed for this unique esports tournament
  • ‘Original and engaging format’ to ‘break the mould’ in burgeoning gaming sphere 

In an industry first, Veloce Esports has announced a partnership with leading racing game developer Codemasters to launch a revolutionary, multi-title, global esports racing league – the VERSUS ULTRA Series – with Lando Norris’ Quadrant team revealing itself as the first official entry.

Veloce is well-versed in original and innovative projects in the burgeoning esports sphere, sparked by the success of its immensely popular #NotTheGP series during the lockdowns of 2020. The ever-expanding Veloce Esports ecosystem yields substantial monthly viewership figures in excess of 230 million across its various channels.

Codemasters is a world-leading video games developer specialising in the racing genre. Its portfolio includes DiRT, Project CARS, GRID, and the official series of F1® video games. The VERSUS ULTRA Series will feature an innovative event format with different stages of competition taking place across several Codemasters titles.

Some of the best-known global esports teams will be taking part, comprising world famous streamers, pro gamers, and more, with squads competing for the inaugural VERSUS ULTRA Cup.

The first team to throw its hat into the ring is Quadrant, F1 star Lando Norris’ ever-popular esports squad.

With the likes of F1 YouTube star Aarav Amin (Aarava), leading virtual racer Steve Alvarez Brown (Super GT), Maria Bish (RiaBish) and Niran Yesufu (FNG) on the books, Quadrant will undoubtedly be running at the sharp end during the inaugural season.

More information on the event format, team announcements and the VERSUS ULTRA CUP will be revealed in due course, with racing set to get underway in 2022.

Rupert Svendsen-Cook, CEO, Veloce Esports, commented: 

“We’re delighted and feel very privileged to be partnering with such an established player in the industry as Codemasters, to launch what we know will be the best racing esports league in the world. We have worked closely with Codemasters for some time, as a large part of our media network features their titles, so it made a huge amount of sense to work together on this project.

“For us, the key focus is on entertainment for the gaming community and offering an original and engaging format that breaks the mould of the traditional racing esports leagues currently available. We’re incredibly excited to share further details regarding who and what is to come as we prepare to launch in 2022.”

Toby Evan-Jones, Head of Business Development, commented: 

“The VERSUS Ultra Series is an exciting new format which creates both action-packed content and the opportunity for our players to compete with their heroes from the real and virtual racing worlds. Codemasters’ expertise in delivering world-leading racing titles makes us the perfect partner for Veloce. We hope players of all levels will come together to create a fun competition which redefines the competitive gaming landscape with an innovative and inclusive format.”

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eSports

Promod Esports Joins ESIC as a New Member

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Promod Esports has officially become a member of Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC).

As part of its membership, Promod Esports will integrate ESIC’s integrity codes and standards into its esports operations, encouraging fair play and sporting integrity across its platforms.

“It is such a pleasure to welcome Promod Esports into membership. I have known the guys behind this for a long time and it has given me a lot of joy to watch them put their offering together and begin to thrive in the esports ecosystem in the UK and further and further afield; especially as they have always kept competitive integrity and participant welfare at the heart of everything they do. I’m really looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial future with them as we work together to protect and enhance esports and, particularly, trust in the competitive integrity of all matches,” ESIC Commissioner Ian Smith said.

“Ever since ESIC was established I strongly believed in their work and its importance to the esports industry in making it a safe and fair environment to be a part of. We are thrilled to be a Member of ESIC, and I am proud that we have taken this step to combat corruption during our tournaments. We are growing fast, and becoming an ESIC member shows our commitment to our fans, our players, our clients and the industry,” Rob Black, CEO of Promod Esports, said.

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Asia

Esports Officially Recognised as a Professional Sport in Thailand

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Esports has been officially recognised as a professional sport in Thailand meaning that players and organisations can now be supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT).

Esports’ popularity has soared in the country with the Thailand E-Sports Federation (TESF) running regular competitions, seminars and workshops.

The sport’s global revenues are projected to surpass $1.5 billion (£1.096 billion/€1.279 billion) by 2023.

The Government involvement could help Thailand become a prime destination for groups like ESL and the Professional Gamers League (PGL) to host their events.

Esports is set to be a medal event at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games in China after featuring in the 2018 edition as a demonstration sport.

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